13 December 1942

The Americans, who have joined the Diggers in the battles for the beachheads, are given responsibility for taking Buna.

Allied Commander in Chief, Gen Douglas MacArthur, quickly reveals his burning impatience with what he sees as the lack of progress in defeating the Japanese defenders at Buna and Sanananda.

He writes to his commander on the ground Gen Bob Eichelberger: “… However admirable individual acts of courage may be … remember that your mission is to take Buna. All other things are subsidiary to this … hasten your preparations and when you are ready – strike, for, as I have said, time is working desperately against us.”